The reaction to Frankie Edgar’s stunning KO loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 222 last night is evidence of the immense respect the world of MMA has for him.
UFC 222 is now in the past and while the top-billed fight on the card saw the women’s featherweight title up for grabs, the vast majority of the interest surrounding last night’s happenings fell upon the clash found in the co-main.
In it, the legendary Frankie Edgar fell a long-way short of the mark in a truly remarkable loss to the prospect Brian Ortega. He might have been the underdog coming in, but ‘T-City’ earned himself quite a few new fans with this huge victory.
Following the fight’s conclusion, the MMA community let their respect for the man he defeated be known. It was the first time the former-lightweight champ Edgar had ever been finished in pro-MMA.
For years his iron chin and unexplainable willpower saw him achieve great things but with this latest setback, it really does appear as though the next generation are taking over at 145lbs.
Some of the best tributes to ‘the Answer’ can be found below:
Frankie Edgar has officially passed 6.5 hours of UFC octagon fight time, the most of any fighter in UFC history. He's a madman. #UFC222
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) March 4, 2018
Let's take a moment to give Frankie Edgar some serious credit. He could've waited for the title fight which was already secured. Instead he stepped up and fought one of the rising stars in the division and put it all on the line. Not many fighters would do that. Respect. #UFC222
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) March 4, 2018
Frankie's career deserved for that to be against me tonight.
Love and respect always!
A true fighters fighter ❤
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 4, 2018
Ortega calls Frankie Edgar a legend and calls for the crowd to cheer as Frankie leaves the Octagon.
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) March 4, 2018
Seeing Frankie Edgar get hit like that hurts me… the years of memories from him will never be forgotten
— Kevin (@ToKeNasty) March 4, 2018
No matter what happens @FrankieEdgar will always be an idol of mine!!!
— Brett Johns (@36Johns) March 4, 2018
— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) March 4, 2018
You had nothing to gain from taking that fight @FrankieEdgar. But you took it you defended what you already earned. There’s no belt for sacrificing everything but true fans and Jersey knows no belt can outshine what you bring to the sport. Chin up bratha
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) March 4, 2018
You're a legend, one of the greatest the sport has ever had. @FrankieEdgar Chin up, you'll be back!
— José J. Sánchez III (@BABAYAGAIII) March 4, 2018
Frankie Edgar is such a legend for even taking tgis fight. I told him on Thursday he was nuts. This is why. All the credit/respect/admiration to that man. Absolute legend. #ufc222
— Ryan McKinnell (@RyanMcKinnell) March 4, 2018
— Izi (@MMA_Inciter) March 3, 2018
With that, it would seem as though it will be Ortega who steps up to face the champ Max Holloway. It is sad in a way, given the fact that Frankie earned his title shot but after two failed attempts to get the pair of them in the octagon, injuries managed to trip-up what could well be his final run at a UFC championship.
Nothing can take away the impact he has made on the sport, though, and while this defeat doesn’t necessarily spell the end for his time in the UFC’s lights, seeing his chin crack like that proved to be a truly tough watch for those of us who have watched his rise.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena